When my daughter walks into a Starbucks (given her avid fan status, she does so often with her spending money in hand), she is typically greeted by an employee who says, “I love your shirt, where did you get it”?

Her response, “I made it” (turns out that is pretty easy), frequently prompts a flattering comment about my daughter’s fashion sense — by the way, she has some street cred, as she was recently voted by her class as the most likely to be a fashion designer living in Paris:










As it turns out, Paris or not, my daughter’s co-creation efforts are not limited to making her own t-shirts (don’t worry Starbucks, she doesn’t sell any, she wears them herself, like a free and flattering traveling human billboard for the brand) to express her passion and creativity for the living Starbucks brand, but she also has coined a nickname for the brand, namely, Starbae.

Apparently, it is her truncation of Starbaby or Starbabies (other endearing nicknames) — an endearing co-created brand name to demonstrate loyalty for her favorite Starbucks brand. As Geoff Gower, executive creative director of ais London, recently wrote for The Guardian:

“By giving millennials the opportunity to co-create, you’re automatically encouraging brand loyalty. By becoming directly involved with a brand, they gain a feeling of influence and control, while seeing that their input actually matters – thus this encourages them to continue to engage.”

Given how my daughter’s ideas tend to spread, I’m thinking Starbucks might want to get out in front of this one, and Starbae appears to be available, only one phonetically equivalent registration for wooden furniture.

Perhaps my daughter will design Starbae uniforms when she is old enough to work for them . . .

My recent trip to St. Louis for the Public Relations Society of America Midwest District Conference yielded another example of co-created branding symbols worth sharing:


As you might imagine, the woman wearing this home made shirt (who agreed to pose for my photo) can’t decide whether to root for the Kansas City Royals or the St. Louis Cardinals (her other family members were solidly in the Royals camp, given their attire). And, does that make her a RoyalCard fan, if she were to co-create a blended brand name for her favorite team(s)?

Marketing types, what do you think of these examples of co-creation, do you embrace them, or do they make you nervous?

Trademark types, same questions . . . .